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Topic Maps as Application Data Model for Subject-centric Applications
Today most applications operate on backends with application specific data models. In contrast to this, we suggest modelling application specific information structures at the level of content, and not at the level of the data model. We demonstrate our approach with a publicly accessible web application. Based on a domain ontology, and a set of knowledge models all content for the example application was mapped into a Topic Map. A Topic Maps web frontend renders interface structures, and knowledge-oriented access paths to the highly networked information space of its backend, and also provides relational tables as if it was based on an application specific data model. This approach provides flexible storage layers for applications, and allows using a single data model for different applications. Moreover, applying subject-orientation from high level ontological concepts down to the data level of property values changes accessing content from navigating data-oriented application specific frontends to navigating knowledge-maps.